Cervélo is known for doing extensive testing in the design and development phases of a new model. Testing can tell our engineers and designers a great deal about how a bike will perform. However, the only way to be sure is to put the rubber on the road. And who better to ask than a group of current and former professional athletes.
Wendy Ingraham has definitely had her share of experience in triathlon. Her career in Triathlon lasted an impressive 20 years and she continues to work with many professional triathletes today. Recently, she had the chance to team up with Cervélo athletes Rachel Joyce, Mary Beth Ellis and Jakub Macel to test a new ride. We asked her what she thought.
“It just feels fast,” was the first thing out of Wendy’s mouth, followed shortly by “it was also the coldest I’ve ever been.” Unfortunately for our testers, the first ride was in a brisk 12° F. “Your face just freezes off” says Wendy of riding in the bitter cold. Luckily, she is no stranger to suffering. From her first Tri in 1986, through her many times qualifying for Kona, to her final race, an incredibly hot 2007 Ironman Korea, Ingraham has always given her all. Those who know triathlon will remember Wendy’s infamous 1997 showdown with Sian Welch at the World Championships.
Wendy started racing at the Gull Lake Tri near her hometown in Michigan. She won the girls event not knowing that it was a national qualifier for the championship in Hilton Head, SC. During the South Carolina race, she made some long lasting friendships that she holds today. Two years later, while on a trip to California, Wendy entered a few more races and never looked back. She went on to qualify for Kona as an age grouper the next year and raced it as a pro for the first time in ‘91 finishing in the top ten.
“I can’t wait to race one, I hope I get the chance in St Croix” says Wendy about the new bike. She plans on returning to the sport for a couple of races this year. “The roads aren’t the best in St. Croix so I think this (new bike) is really going to help with that. That race has it all, every kind of terrain. I think this bike is well suited to every type of road and is very comfortable.”
Despite the cold weather, Wendy had plenty to say of her test ride. “It makes sense for a lot of people. It has good sizing, and a lot of women are frustrated right now because the bikes aren’t fitting properly”. Her test bike is a long cry from her first KHS John Howard mint green and purple bike. “The new (bike) is like the Audi S5 of the fleet. You get all of the bases covered, maybe not bells and whistles of the super bikes, but still plenty fast. I’ve been test driving a lot of cars lately...”
Fortunately for Wendy, she had an opportunity to test the new bike in the following days as well. “I was even more impressed when I had a chance to put in a little harder effort on the bike. It just wants to go” she said of her much warmer 50°F ride on the next day. But she had no regrets riding on the first day either. “It was an epic product review.”